Damage to Yards
Most nutria damage occurs around bodies of water where these large rodents live. However, nearby backyards can also suffer as the pests feed on lawns, garden plants, and tree seedlings.
Though eating plants may seem harmless, nutria devour vegetation in its entirety, including the roots. Leaving empty pits around yards not only looks unsightly and requires an investment to replant, but makes for dangerous terrain when children or pets venture outside to play.
Damage to Homes
While it's unlikely that nutria will ever enter a house, their burrowing behavior can indirectly impact the structural integrity of buildings. Constant digging around streams, rivers, and ponds causes soil erosion and flooding. Even worse, weakened ground around burrows can lead to the collapse of roadways and home foundations.
When nutria den near the yard, homeowners also have to worry about several harmful health conditions:
- Bacterial infection - Nutria may be infected with the bacteria that cause tularemia, tuberculosis, or septicemia. While symptoms vary, antibiotics are typically necessary to get rid of all three unpleasant conditions.
- Parasites - The pests are capable of carrying blood and liver flukes, tapeworms, and nematodes. Nematodes cause a rash known as nutria itch, while those infected with the other parasites may suffer from fever, pain, weight loss, and additional problems.
These illnesses typically arise from the pests' waste. Unlike some burrowing animals, nutria aren't selective about where they leave their feces and urine. This can lead to the contamination of swimming or drinking water, which in turn transmits disease to humans and pets.
Controlling Nutria Damage
Residents may put fences around gardens and wire tubes around trees to reduce nutria damage. Embankment barriers can also limit burrowing around homes and bodies of water. However, these methods can be costly without creating a lasting change in nutria behavior. The best form way to prevent nutria damage is to contact the professionals at Critter Control.